China and US reach unexpected agreement at COP26 summit

18:58, 11 November 2021
China and US reach unexpected agreement at COP26 summit Photo: imagebroker/Guenter Fischer/Global Look Press

The two largest greenhouse gas emitters in the world have concluded a joint declaration on climate action reinforcement.

Chinese climate emissary Xie Zhenhua has announced at the COP26 climate summit that the PCR and the US signed a declaration saying that the two countries engaged in amplifying climate cooperation.

“The two parties recognize a gap persisting between the objectives of the Paris climate agreement and actual efforts taken to fulfill them. That is why we are going to boost the US-China conjoint climate action,” the Chinese diplomat said on Wednesday.

Before the announcement, Chinese and American officials held around 30 meetings in 2021.

He has also highlighted that the US-China cooperation remains the only way to ensure environmental safety despite tensions in the countries’ relations. Both the US and China have earlier agreed to set a new limit of global warming of +1.5 °C.

US climate envoy John Kerry called climate cooperation essential despite dissensions in other spheres.

"Every step matters right now and we have a long journey ahead of us.”

The EU and the UN have dubbed the accord an encouraging step while Greenpeace stressed that real action was required. Director, Climate Policy Action for the WWF Genevieve Maricle has dubbed the news “a new hope” which makes reaching the 1.5°C objective possible.

The news come simultaneously with the announcement that US President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping will hold a virtual conference on November 15.